Friday, March 15, 2013

Market Your School With Social Media! Or as the Doobie Bros say " Taking it to the Streets"

Well,  it IS a different world we live in!
I lived at 709 E. South St. in Frankfor,t Indiana back in the 70's and 80's and we just went to the school we could walk to.  I knew,  based on my address,  I would first be a Riley Poet, then a Frankfort Junior High Falcon and finally a Frankfort Hotdog.
No letter grades for schools,  no choice, no charters, no vouchers, I had an address and I had a school.

Enter the age of  school choice!

Whether you call yourself public, private, charter, Catholic, Christian or a combination of any of these you have entered the age of Education Marketing!
The deal is though, most schools don't have a marketing or public relations person, so what is a school to do?
I say, as the Doobie Brothers did in 1976, Take it to the Streets!....errr Interwebs....  
People are talking about you and your school!
What are they saying?
Are they right?
How can you get your message and mission out there?
I was fortunate to get to talk about this at #CoSN13 this year.

Here is our slideshare:
Branding & Marketing Your School With Social Media

The slideshare includes some ideas as well as links to schools that I think are doing a great job of using Facebook, Twitter and other tools to get their message out!
No one can reduce a student OR a school to a letter grade!
Not when a picture or a tweet is worth a thousand words!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Could a student do that? YES!

I've been asking myself this question a lot lately:

Could a student do that?

I find that the answer is often a resounding YES!

Some examples:
  • We are hosting our national conference for New Tech Network in New Orleans, LA this summer. I am creating a Pinterest board and wanted to fill it with restaurants in walking distance, some 'can't miss" sites and more. Except, I live in Indiana and I've never been to New Orleans.
Could a student do that? Yes!
Kaylin, student and member of the HRT team at Satellite Center is now pinning for us!

  • During #PBLChat we often discuss getting the community into the school for projects, entry docs,  as experts and more. Teachers are swamped busy, finding more time to make connections is tough
Could a student do that? Yes!
So many students chimed in during that chat and shared that THEY make the phone calls and coordinate the events bringing the community in to their schools.

From Anna, Kent Innovation High student

  • We often hear that teachers are reluctant to use tech tools in class that they haven't yet mastered because they couldn't be a resource for the students.
Could a student do that? Yes!
Chris M. student at Rochester Zebra New Tech High often made videos and tutorials with Camtasia teaching students and teachers the ins and outs of Photoshop and other tools. 

  • We talk about student voice a great deal these days. We need it during the interview process. Hmm? Have a professional voice and play a role in interviewing teachers for their school?
Could a student do that? Yes!
Students at Columbus Signature Academy play a role in the hiring process, asking questions and having reflective discussion post-interview with the facilitators and director of their school.

  • So many tech departments,  as we move to 1:1 and add even more devices, are so short staffed and struggle to keep up with the work order demands in the buildings they serve.
Could a student do that? Yes!
All over the country students are a part of the tech team, in many cases earning credits while they solve network issues, replace laptop parts, image computers and more. We called our team STAT (Student Tech Assistance Team, they even had t-shirts)

I'm certain there are many more ways we can empower students to be an integral part of their own learning in more ways. How are you empowering students?
As you go through your day tomorrow, ask yourself, could a student do that?